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We are all lucky to have MS Dhoni around: Ajinkya Rahane

"It becomes easier for Virat with him around," he quoted.

Ajinkya Rahane
India’s Ajinkya Rahane during the net practice. (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane is one of the batting mainstays of the Indian cricket team in the longest format of the game. He has not quite been able to replicate the same heroics in the limited overs. Much to his defense, he has not received too many opportunities either with a packed lineup for the men in blue. However, when the opportunities door in the ODIs came in Rahane’s way, the Mumbai batsman ensured he had it grabbed with both hands.

Rahane returned with the Player of the Series award in the recently concluded 5-match ODI series against Windies in the Caribbean. He is certainly soaring high on confidence. Now, he is set to get back to the format that has given him so much in the game. Team India is set to take on Sri Lanka in a 3-match Test series.

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Ajinkya Rahane is looking forward to the opportunity. As per the recent quotes in the India Today, Rahane spoke at length about the various aspects heading into the series. He stated that the Windies series was important for him after he was benched for the entire duration in the Champions Trophy. Despite that, his mindset was positive.

“This series was important for my one-day career. I was looking forward to doing well and hungry. I was not taking extra pressure but wanted to enjoy and do well. I thought I was batting well in the nets in Champions Trophy also. So I went to West Indies and had a couple of practice sessions; the mindset was good. I had kept my mind blank and wanted to give my best,” quoted Ajinkya Rahane.

On Virat Kohli

When asked to reveal what skipper Virat Kohli had told him in the Caribbean, Ajinkya Rahane remarked that the skipped backed him to do well. He said that Kohli wanted him to bat with freedom and that gave him immense confidence.

“Virat told me in West Indies to back myself and not to take pressure. He told me you are the best and know how to handle the situation. When the captain asks you to bat with freedom and says I am backing you and the team is with you, what more do you want,” Rahane quoted.

On MS Dhoni

Ajinkya Rahane also had his words of appreciation for the senior member of the team and former skipper MS Dhoni. He cited that the presence of Dhoni not only helps Virat Kohli in his captaincy but also lifts up the spirits of the entire team.

“It’s great to have MS Dhoni around. We are all lucky to have him. It becomes easier for Virat with him around. Many times Virat went and asked him opinions and he comes up with great ideas. It’s good to see both of them working together,” he conceded.

On the times ahead

Speaking about the upcoming series, Rahane pointed out that the team is keen on winning every single game on the tour. They are not taking Sri Lanka lightly by any chance though. The last time India toured Sri Lanka for a Test series was in 2015. The series went into the history books as Virat Kohli’s first series win as Indian Test captain. Rahane added that the times ahead would be interesting as the away tours are lined up for the Indian team.

“We want to win every series and every match. But look we don’t want to take Sri Lanka lightly. They are a good side. The last time we had a series there, we made a great comeback. We have the experience now but we will have to start from scratch and build from the start. One has to respect the opposition and it’s all about how we play to potential and strength,” quoted the Indian batsman.

“Yes last season gave us a lot of confidence. 13 Tests and particularly the fast bowlers performance was too good to see. We will have Sri Lanka next, South Africa, England later, a lot of challenges away from home. But that’s the beauty of this game. That’s where you want to do well,” Ajinkya Rahane conceded further.

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